[Tagging] Should admin_level=1 tag be applied to EU?

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny at gmail.com
Fri Jul 31 18:54:17 UTC 2020

On Thu, Jul 30, 2020 at 5:07 PM Alan Mackie <aamackie at gmail.com> wrote:

> Many if not most of the entities mentioned in this discussion as being
> candidates for "admin level above country" do have geographic reach
> encompassing multiple countries, but are also limited in scope, often
> severely. To tag such a limited body as fully encompassing a higher admin
> level seems fundamentally flawed as a concept. If their powers were
> expanded to have unlimited scope within that geographic area you would
> effectively have a single larger country. Having an entity grow in scope
> from "admin levels that includes (largely) independent countries" down to
> admin level of a country seems counter to the general structure.

The defining test probably has to be the power to engage in foreign
relations with entities at the same admin_level without deferring to the
next higher level.

The test as you have stated it fails in federal systems. In the US, at
least, the plenary power to govern belongs to the States (Or to the People,
but constitutionally this is enforced only by a requirement that each State
have a republican form of government.)  The national government has only
those powers that are delegated to it from the states under the
Constitution. When it tries to exercise plenary jurisdiction (as, alas,
we're seeing nowadays!), it tends to unfold as a constitutional crisis.
The States are above the Federal government, not beneath it.

The reason that this principle is not obvious from abroad is that the
States have delegated to the Federal government the sole power to engage in
foreign relations; a State may not engage in diplomacy abroad because the
States have relinquished that power.  Which is why, when you arrive at JFK,
you clear US customs and not New York's.

By the way, a 'containment' test fails as well in the US.  While there are
no municipal governments that cross state lines (there are some
special-purpose entities that do by the consent of both states and the
Congress, such as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey), it's not
uncommon for a city to lie in more than one county, or a village in more
than one township.  Having a clean hierarchy of admin_levels just isn't
important to USAians.

And I have Absolutely No Idea what to do with extraterritorial dependencies
or domestic dependent nations.

Feel free to stop reading here. I'm going off topic.

The nearest problem case to me is Ahkwesáhsne, a territory of
the Kanien'kehá:ka Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy that straddles
the US-Canadian border, and whose government is recognized by neither
state. The political situation there has deteriorated into shootings as
recently as 1990, and sabre-rattling among US, Canadian and Akwesáhsro:non
persons as recently as 2009. The disputes usually stem from one or the
other large nation deciding to deny the Kanien'kehá free pratique to travel
and trade within their own nation, requiring customs and imposts every time
the US-Canadian border is crossed.

73 de ke9tv/2, Kevin
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